Network outages come at high cost to agencies

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In a work environment where mostly everything is done via the Internet, the same technology that makes things possible can also cause major delays.

A recent NetApp white paper, “Using Software to Create An Agile IT Infrastructure,” found a significant number of IT managers are experiencing network outages.

The majority of respondents, 57 percent, agreed any amount of unplanned downtime they experience is unacceptable. The unplanned downtime disrupts business and agency operations, and 48 percent of respondents said it hurts end-user productivity.

However, in an environment where technology is constantly in need of system upgrades and maintenance, network downtime is simply unevitable. And that is where the difference between planned and unplanned downtime comes into play.

According to data collected by Market Connections, 41 percent encountered unplanned downtime that lasted between zero and 5 hours; 25 percent lasted between 5 and 23 hours; and 34 percent lasted one day or more.

In comparison, 29 percent of respondents encountered planned downtime that lasted for one day or more.

For 31 percent of respondents, unplanned downtime was a top data storage concern. Among the top concerns in data storage was data security, data loss and insufficient budget to meet organization needs.

“CIOs need an infrastructure that can work without interruption and keep costs under control, while delivering new services, projects, and capacity instantly,” said Raj Rana, a senior manager for Partner Ecosystem at NetApp public sector.

Unplanned network outages also have harmful effects on the budget.

In addition to the price tag associated with unplanned downtime, agencies need to consider the costs to upgrading and refreshing network infrastructure, which affects budget considerations.

For 70 percent of respondents, cost is one of their main concerns for a refresh or upgrade in their networks.

And understandably so, a recent study by Emerson Network Power cited in the NetApp white paper estimated the actual cost of a system outage as an average of $5,000 lost per minute, or $300,000 per day.

NetApp’s white paper polled 250 IT decision makers and influencers; 40 percent from federal agencies, 40 percent from state and local agencies, and 20 percent from systems integrators.

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